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Our 3-year-old PC is working fine, except..... it now makes quite a row. It started to get noisy a while ago and has steadily got worse. Sounds like a large fan-heater, and occasionally whines. (The PC is in the hall down-stairs but can be heard from the first-floor bedrooms.)

I was told it would be dust clogging up the fans - there's one over the processor and another at back of base unit. So we took the sides off base unit and cleaned/vacuumed everything we could reach. Put it back together, but no change. We took it apart again, took the fan off the processor and gave it a thorough going over so that it looked like new. Still no improvement.

Any suggestions?

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Hi Alan,

Sounds as if your PSU (power supply unit) is on its way out.  Common problem with PSU's is they get clogged up with dust, start to overheat and the fan works overtime to cool the unit, hence the noise, eventually it will fail and if you are lucky it won't fry your motherboard.  Many people don't realize how vital a piece of equipment the PSU is, not only does it convert your AC voltage to DC but it provides your PC with enough power to keep all the components running.

You say your PC is three years old, therefore your PSU should be ATX format, typically 300 to 500 Watt.  In the UK a replacement costs from £7.50 upwards, sorry but I can't advise on availability or cost in France.  PSU's cannot be repaired so they must be replaced, which is quite an easy task.  If you are intending replacing your PSU make sure you use one with the same output or higher, never replace with a lower value.

Regards

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Thanks T-P. (And to Tel for e-mail - have acknowledged by PM.)

Of course, it won't misbehave really badly when you want it to, but the worst noise is indeed coming from the secondary fan - towards the base of the back of the unit - rather than from the PSU fan. So I will change that first.

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Alan,  With the PC running and screaming at you, simply touch the centre of each fan to find the noisy one.  If its a case fan try running the PC without it just to be sure.  If its the cpu fan dont disconnect it as the CPU will overheat.  Once found, look carfully at the fan blades and housing they could be clogged up with dust, if not its best to replace it.

Oh and never buy a cheap PSU, you get what you pay for as with all things, cheap PSUs are just that.  You'll be replacing  it again just out of warranty and a cheapy will probably fail taking out other hardware.

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Yes Cdiscount is good but there are many others, pick your model and Google.fr it for the best price and the essential free postage (makes you feel you've got one over on the supplier - ha  ha as if ! ).   If you Google.com psu s in general  be ready for a long internet session of confusion ! 

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[quote user="pcwhizz"]

Oh and never buy a cheap PSU, you get what you pay for as with all things, cheap PSUs are just that.  You'll be replacing  it again just out of warranty and a cheapy will probably fail taking out other hardware.

[/quote]

I agree, Cheap PSU's are not worth considering. Apart from taking half your system with them when they blow up, They are always claimed to be a much higher rating than they actually are i.e. marked 500W means just about 350W.

As for noisy fans, the smaller they are the more noise they make. If you have a Northbridge fan change it for a Zalman heatsink and a 120mm fan mounted on a bracket to supply an airflow in the case. The Akasa amber/orange fans are cheap and quiet.

If your PSU's internal fan is noisy you can change them, Just be careful as those large capacitors hold a charge for a long time.

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Alan, you don't mention what make your PC is! If you have a Dell, be very wary about replacing the PSU with a shop bought replacement. Some Dell models have very strange wiring setups which mean you must only replace the PSU with a like for like, i.e. you can only use a Dell replacement part.
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[quote user="Onion van man"]

If your PSU's internal fan is noisy you can change them, Just be careful as those large capacitors hold a charge for a long time.

[/quote]

I  think we need to be careful with that kinda advice OVM, it is a French Forum and not a computer geeks site !  If you've got the PSU in bits, check the joints around the caps and power devices, prone to drying out.  But, now the safety bit, dont blame OVM or me if it bursts into flames and burns your house down !

Are Dell still using custom PSUs ?  I thought they moved over to standard connectors a while ago, may be wrong.

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Not sure how to describe the "make". The PC was designed and assembled for us by a student friend of my daughter who was about to set himself up with a computer-related business and is no longer available to deal with problems. (It has in fact been trouble-free, apart from noise factor.) He ordered all the bits online from a couple of his favourite suppliers. I have the bills - somewhere.

Just to demonstrate my ignorance, what does the message mean in the box at the end of your post, Onion Van Man, apparently from Danasoft.com?

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[quote user="Alan Zoff"]

Just to demonstrate my ignorance, what does the message mean in the box at the end of your post, Onion Van Man, apparently from Danasoft.com?

[/quote]

It does not actually do anything apart from tell you what your IP address, Operating system and Browser are.  It's good to make people security aware though.

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Thanks. As usual, I have well and truly demonstrated my ignorance.

Thanks also to everyone who has contributed to this post. (And in case anyone is concerned, I won't be pulling apart the PSU. I had noted on the casing the "Danger of Death" warning about removing its cover. It would not have occurred to me that a few small components can store enough electricity to kill, even when the mains power has long since been disconnected. Life remains full of surprises.)

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